Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today appointed Peter Marx as the city's first Chief Innovation Technology Officer.
"Peter was my top choice from a very strong pool of applicants," said Garcetti in a release. "I'm thrilled to have him on the team and look forward to working with him to better serve Angelenos and foster the already strong tech ecosystem here in the City of Angels. Harnessing technology is critical to the future of our economy and improving city services."
Marx, a Los Angeles native, is charged with improving the MyLA311 service, upgrading the city's websites, and applying data sharing and analysis to upgrade city government performance. He will work in the Mayor's Office as a technology coordinator, strategist and advisor across city organizations.
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Before joining the Mayor's Office, Marx served as the vice president of Business Development at Qualcomm Labs, Inc., commercializing a variety of emerging technologies. Previously he was the VP of the Technology and Digital Studio at Mattel, Inc., and managed Analog Protocol, a media-technology consultancy, to name a few.
Marx says that if you look at the city as a set of services -- such as police, fire, power, water and transportation -- those classic services are becoming more and more digital, which enables them to be delivered, controlled and measured digitally. And those services can be leveraged by organizations and civic technology efforts through application programming interfaces. For example, he said the city's MyLA311 now allows residents to submit service requests like pothole repair, graffiti removal or they can pay water and power bills. But that's just the beginning of where city services are going, he said.
"I was born here and I can't tell you all the different services. People think they interact with the city when they pay their business tax or get a parking ticket. But the reality is you interact with the city every day," he said. "When you go to the airport, when you park, when you turn on the light switch, you are receiving a service from the Department of Water and Power, which is part of the city."
Marx says he thinks that MyLA311 has the potential to become a portal for all city interactions, and he's very happy to have this particular job.
"This is an interesting moment in time. With a new forward-looking mayor, this city has all the elements," he said. "The things that happen over the next few years will have a large impact ... I think there's an opportunity to make a difference, and that's why I'm here."